Sunday, April 23, 2017

It's In My Nature

I asked Vergil and Jessie and Lily out for pancakes and bacon this morning but our menu changed when Vergil asked if he could bring his brand new vintage Sunbeam waffle maker which he is currently in love with.
"Of course!" I said, and I made up the batter and cooked the bacon and he cooked us one delicious waffle after another in his waffle maker and they were all crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside and we ate them like little waffle piggies.

August is learning to use utensils! 

I took pictures of everyone else but none of them came out well. I was using my iPad because my iPhone started refusing to charge last night and my heart was breaking and I was worried because how do I live without my phone, meaning, how do I go about my life without listening to a book at all times, not to mention all of that other stuff like taking pictures and texting and looking up random things on the internet whenever I have a question?
And so forth.
So I asked Vergil to take a look at it and he did, quite literally, look into the little charging port and he said, "Oh, I see your problem right here," and he took a needle and dug out a little piece of something, probably leaf mulch, and now it charges perfectly and all is well in my world again. Or at least that part of my world, anyway.
Thank you, Vergil. 

And I have not done much today. I have rested, just like the Bible tells me to do on a Sabbath. I did finally go out to the garden and plant two more rows of peas, one black-eyed and one zipper cream. My garden is now, at this very second, almost exactly the way I've always wanted a garden. When it's time to plant something, all I have to do is go out and rake a row naked from the mulch and plant my seeds in that earthy breast. Of course it's still early on in the year and there's plenty of time for weeds to take hold and then take over but right now, it's almost weedless and beautiful. 

Those are shallots on the left, then a line of black-eyed peas, then my new row which I just planted in zipper cream peas, and then the winter kale. Also, behind the shallots are lettuces which we are still eating in salad although their time is coming to an end and they are starting to bolt. 
It's been a real good run though. 
I need to pull some of that kale. We will never eat all of that and I could put something else in there like maybe zinnias or cantaloupes. It's just so hard for me to pull a perfectly healthy plant out of the dirt. The collards are in the same category. They are huge and glorious still, but dear god, we're not going to eat all of them and they are literally shading out the tomatoes. 

Owen and I went out and picked sugar snap peas this morning after our waffles. 
"I'm on a pea rampage!" he said. Rampage is one of his new favorite words. When we were eating he announced he was on a bacon rampage. 
As we picked, he and I were talking about the garden and about chickens and he said, "Mer, you're a farmer."
"No I'm not," I told him. "I'm just an amateur gardener."
"No," he said, picking another pea and putting it in his mouth, you're a farmer."
Well, I'm not and thank goodness because I couldn't keep any of us alive with what I grow. It's all just lagniappe and joy and extra but it does feel good not to have to buy too many vegetables at the store and no eggs at all. I hate the thought of going through those bags of salad greens in just a few weeks, looking for one that doesn't look like the greens need to go directly into soup with no stop in the salad bowl. We are spoiled by the freshness of our greens, picked, washed, and made into salad with olive oil and vinegar, salt and garlic. We never get tired of it. 

I often wonder where this desire and need to get in the dirt and plant came from. It is strong with me. So strong that even my stepfather's love of gardening did not ruin it for me and that's saying something. He used to plant a big garden on the lot across the street from our house in Winter Haven, right on the lake, which was not something one did in those days. I never participated in that garden but when I grew up and moved out of the house, the desire to grow things arose in me as strong and true as the desire to cook and make bread did. 

I suppose I am a peasant woman and that is simply that. 

Oh well. It all keeps me out of the pool halls. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Bacon is the reason I will never be a vegetarian so I echo Owen's sentiment.

    1. I always say that "bacon is the vegetarian's favorite meat." And so it is.

  2. Like Owen, I often think of you as a farmer. A gardener is a wonderful description of your love and care for your patch of earth, but with the chickens, and the overalls, it's like you're the steward of a magical storybook farm.

  3. some people are gardeners and some people aren't I guess. neither of my parents were big gardeners and food came from the grocery store but both my sister and I are gardeners.

    1. My granddaddy came from a long line of farmers. In fact, he grew up on a farm which had been in the family since before the American Revolution. He was the eldest son and would have inherited it but he chose to leave the farm and learn the woodworking business. Family history says that he met my granny when he went to her father to ask permission to grow a garden on a vacant lot he owned in the city. So...
      And I remember him growing fruit trees but I don't remember him growing vegetables at all with the exception of a few tomatoes, even though he always kept a gorgeous compost pile.

  4. I think many humans have an almost instinctive need to grow things. For me it doesn't extend to vegetables, but that's just me! We never had a garden when I was a kid but I love planting plants -- and like you, I have a terrible time pulling a healthy one out of the ground. I usually resist thinning anything. It drives Dave crazy.

    1. Glen and I were out in the garden the other day and he said, "Maybe next year we should do an experiment with the carrots to see which grows better- carrots that have been thinned or carrots which have not been thinned."
      He wasn't fooling me. I know it drives him crazy that I can't thin properly. Just as it drives Dave crazy that you can't either.

  5. You may not be a farmer but you are most certainly a master gardener and I admire and value you for it.

    1. God. I've been doing this for so long that you'd think I'd be a lot better at it than I am. But the beautiful thing about gardening is that every year is one more chance to do it better. And for some reason, I just love to take on that challenge.


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